It's Everybody's Business
The end of World War II did not bring peace at home. Nuclear anxiety, anti-Communism and international political realignments fueled the Cold War and turned our country's media landscape into a battleground from the late 1940s on. In the press, on the radio, and increasingly through the newly emerging medium of television, business and labor struggled for power over the national consciousness. Seeking a prize worth much more than public consent, these opposing forces fought to redefine the economic structure of the nation.
To most working people, postwar "normalcy" meant a final farewell to Depression-induced privation, access to consumer goods unavailable during the war years, and a redistribution of the economic pie through the newly powerful labor movement. To business, however, the end of hostilities promised freedom from New Deal liberalism. Corporations sought an end to planning and government influence, to communist, socialist and labor movements, and above all, shrinkage of the public sector, swollen in sixteen years of economic depression and war. Both sides characterized their points of view as patriotic and their opponents as un-American.
Business fought for influence through organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Their intentions were presented as lofty and neutral: to educate Americans about our economic system and its benefits. Launching a giant propaganda offensive, these organizations pumped out press releases, published books, organized public and private meetings, bought advertising and produced motion pictures.
It's Everybody's Business links the Bill of Rights to the tenets of free-enterprise ideology, "interlocking inseparably the blocks of our political and economic freedom." This strategy expresses not only the opinions of the film's sponsors, but is also a skillful attempt to co-opt liberal discourse, which sought to champion the Bill of Rights against McCarthyite excesses. By linking freedom and patriotism with the market economy the movie tries to manufacture universal consensus.
Like other Sutherland productions (Make Mine Freedom, Meet King Joe and A Is For Atom), this employs a "stealth" strategy. Self-deprecating humor prevails, perhaps because the films were made to play before distracted and highly skeptical audiences, and the targets of this humor include our consumer culture and the dubious innovations it creates.
Aside from self-deprecating humor, this film features several memorable visual devices: the "tax monster," the tidal wave of war, and the animated paper money riding on the train.
Ken Smith sez: This John Sutherland cartoon glorifies the American consumption economy, and tells its viewers that it would be unpatriotic not to "risk your savings in our competitive business system." Watch for the many scenes where anthropomorphized dollar bills run around frantically, and don't miss the relentless, money-sucking tax monster. The Freedoms Foundation awarded this film its gold honor medal as "the best film developed in the United States during 1954 to further better understanding of the American way of life." In Technicolor.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Cartoons Animation Accents (Scottish) Capitalism Business Free enterprise Economics Advertising Sales Competition Money (animated) Money Distribution Manufacturing Consumerism Gender roles Graphs Surrealism Blood Football (huddles) Huddles (football) Executives (animated) Marketing Manufacturing Assembly lines (animated) Parades (commercial) Wars (effect on business)
It's fairly vague which lets children watching it make up their own mind about it.
Subject: Wow, please think through this
Another thing, this film does (like i talked about before) have socialist content. Propaganda should not be shown in schools. We should show our children films that make people think and reason for themselves, that show people the completely logical reasons for freedom and how freedom works, this can be done very simply, it does not have to be complicated, but let's educate people, not propagandize them.
Subject: A Cartoon for Everybody's Business?
Another waste of taxpayer money.
Subject: The credits
Bill Scott, who had written in Art Davis' units later went to write and voice cartoons for Jay Ward Productions in 1959 (he was Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right, among others). His unhappy experience at Sutherland are outlined in the book 'The Moose That Roared', where's quoted as having a basic philosophical difference from the messages Sutherland put on screen.
Associate Producer George Gordon had headed his own unit at MGM during WW2, after going to Metro from Terrytoons in New York. Carl Urbano had been an MGM animator in Rudy Ising's unit and worked on the first Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Maurice Noble was Chuck Jones' designer; Noble was away from Warners for several years in the middish-50s.
Bill Melendez is known today for the Peanuts specials, but moved from Disney to Warners in the early 40s and animated for Bob Clampett and several others as J.C. Melendez. Emery Hawkins worked at a number of studios, including Columbia, Warners and Lantz, while Abe Levitow was in Jones' unit at Warners, first as an assistant (to Ken Harris, I believe) and then as an animator. He ended up at UPA directing TV cartoons.
Eugene Poddany was Carl Stalling's copyist at Warners and later composed for Jones when he went to MGM. Les Baxter was a composer for Capitol and was responsible for the Lassie TV show theme (with the whistling open). Many of his instrumental albums are beloved by exotica fans today.
And MacDonald Carey is probably best-known today for his role on Days of Our Lives, where he read the intro of the show over the hourglass.
Herb Vigran is the voice of Jonathan. His Bon Ton jingle is a cute parody of the old Pepsi jingle.
Subject: FREE ENTERPRISE
Michael Hudson pointed out, SOME FORCES control every economy. There is no such thing as one which is not controlled, especially in today's interconnected world.
Therefore, either DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE (We the People) have our sayso and control, or else other dominant elements such as PRIVATE BANKS AND SPECULATORS control it all according to their loan-sharking desires and just a few years ago.
(Loan shark interest = good. Taxes = bad.)
Then, uncontrollled and unreported speculative "investments" by hedge funds, newfangled "credit default swaps", and HUNDREDS of TRILLIONS in derivatives with no bottom.
In other words, more credit/debt bubble. Greenspan taught that inflating mortgages = WEALTH! --- which is false. Yet McCain was spouting that same idea.
entertaining and rather informative...
enjoyable.. its ok..
Subject: Superb Educational Film!
If only the rest of the 3rd world could see it and learn the formula for improving quality of life to untold heights!
A great educational film! Five Stars!
Subject: Merrie Melodies this is not.